U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Tony Tooke will serve as the new Chief of the U.S. Forest Service. Tooke has worked for the Forest Service since age 18 and currently is the Regional Forester for the Southern Region. Read full release here.
JULY / AUGUST ISSUE OF SOUTHERN FIRE EXCHANGE'S FIRE LINES NEWSLETTER AVAILABLE
This issue of our bimonthly newsletter has the following articles sharing resources, news, and upcoming events from around the Southeast region and nationwide: FireVision 20/20 AFE Int'l Fire Congress Details, Duff Fire Science and Management Workshop, Provide LANDFIRE Feedback, New SFE Outreach Specialist, SFE Webinar Recordings Available, New Factsheet on Spotfires and Escapes,USFS issues new report on the History of Wildland Fire Science, New resources from NWCG, Updated Simple Smoke Screening Tool Avaiiable, Think about Fine Fuels When Planning Longleaf Pine Restoration, and Upcoming events, news and reminders.
NEED A LOAN TO FUND CONSERVATION PROJECTS? CHECK OUT THE USDA FARM SERVICE AGENCY'S GUARANTEED CONSERVATION LOAN PROGRAM
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) guarantees loans to promote conservation practices on farms and ranches that help protect natural resources. The goal of FSA’s Conservation Loan (CL) program is to provide access to credit for farmers who need and want to implement conservation measures on their land, but do not have the “up front” funds available to implement these practices. For more information see this Conservation Loan Program Fact Sheet. Also see this table summarizing FSA farm loan opportunities.
The Conservation Contract Program is a program for eligible landowners that protects important natural resources and other sensitive areas while providing a debt management tool. A conservation contract is available to people with Farm Service Agency (FSA) direct loans secured by real estate. These individuals may qualify for a reduction of their FSA indebtedness in exchange for a conservation contract with a term of 50, 30 or 10 years. The conservation contract is a voluntary legal agreement that restricts the type and amount of development that may take place on portions of the landowner’s property. Contracts may be established on marginal cropland and other environmentally sensitive lands for conservation, recreation and wildlife purposes. For more information see this Conservation Contract Program Fact Sheet.
The FSA provides several types of farm loans. For more information on these opportunities, see the Florida FSA Website or contact your local FSA office to speak with a local representative
SIGN UP FOR 2017 COGONGRASS TREATMENT COST-SHARE PROGRAM
Deadline extended for a limited time-
A Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program is again offered to eligible non-industrial private landowners by the Florida Forest Service (FFS) through temporary grants from the USDA Forest Service. The primary objective of this program is to reduce the spread of cogongrass to new areas by helping private landowners control or eradicate existing infestations. Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica L.) is a non-native, invasive grass that is established in Florida and several other southeastern states. In addition to being regulated as a state and federal noxious weed, cogongrass is a pest plant in 73 countries, and has been recognized as one of the “Top 10 Worst Weeds in the World.” Cogongrass infestations negatively affect tree regeneration, growth and survival, as well as wildlife habitat, native plant diversity, forage quality and property values. They also increase the risk of wildfires and alter fire behavior. See http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wg202 for more information about this pest.
The Cost-Share Program offers reimbursement of up to 50% of the cost of herbicide treatment of cogongrass infestations on non-industrial private land for two consecutive years. The maximum reimbursement is $100 per year for treatment of up to one acre, and $75/acre per year for any additional area. There is no minimum size, and qualified applicants may apply to treat up to a maximum of 133 acres of infested area. Applications must be submitted through the County Forester where the property is located. For more information see the Program website at: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Cogongrass-Program or contact your Florida Forest Service County Forester.
2017 LONGLEAF PINE PRIVATE LANDOWNER INCENTIVE PROGRAM
Deadline Extended to September 15 for central FL area
The Florida Forest Service is still accepting applications for the Longleaf Pine Private Landowner Incentives Program in Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Citrus, Clay, Lake, Levy, Marion, Orange, Putnam, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia Counties. The objective of this Program is to increase the acreage of healthy longleaf pine ecosystems in Florida by helping non-industrial private forest (NIPF) landowners to make the long-term investment required to establish and maintain this valuable ecosystem. Toward this end, the program offers NIPF landowners technical guidance and incentive payments for conducting certain approved forest management practices that help establish or improve longleaf pine stands.
The program offers incentive payments for: longleaf pine seedling establishment, timber stand improvement, prescribed burning, native plant understory establishment, mechanical underbrush treatments, invasive exotic plant treatment. All payments are made at specified per-acre or per-seedling rates.
This extension is limited to Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Citrus, Clay, Lake, Levy, Marion, Orange, Putnam, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia Counties. Qualified landowners may apply for up to four approved practices per year. The minimum tract size requirement is 10 acres, and funding requests may not exceed $10,000. Only one application per landowner is permitted per year.
Contact your Florida Forest Service County Forester to apply.
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR JOINT CHIEF'S LANDSCAPE RESTORATION PARTNERSHIP
Proposals due October 17
The U.S. Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are requesting
proposals for funding consideration in fiscal year (FY) 2018 within the Joint Chiefs' Landscape
Restoration Partnership (JCLRP). The intent of the partnership is to achieve measurable
objectives through restoration projects that coordinate conservation activities on public and
private lands. Projects funded will enable collaboration among the Forest Service, NRCS, and many local, non-governmental, Tribal, and individual landowner stakeholders. Request letter and proposal template here.
FLORIDA TREE FARMERS: TIME FOR A FIVE-YEAR INSPECTION?
The Florida Tree Farm Program requests that certified Tree farmers, who have been certified in the American Tree Farm System for five years, contact a Tree Farm inspector to have their Tree Farm reinspected. All Tree Farms must be inspected every five years in order to verify activity and maintain the credibility of the Program. We very much appreciate your help with the five-year inspection process and everything you do for forest stewardship in Florida.
Find your Tree Farm District Representative at https://www.treefarmsystem.org/about-fl
Your Florida Forest Service County Forester can help with the inspection as well. Find your County Forester at http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/For-Landowners/County-Foresters
FLORIDA LAND STEWARD CALENDAR OF EVENTS
AIR POTATO PATROL CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT
A new on-line Citizen Science project is looking for volunteers at https://airpotatobeetle.com/. This collaborative project between University of Florida IFAS Extension and Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services seeks to educate residents on how to identify and better control air potato vines, and to gather data important to current research and air potato leaf beetle tracking. The website contains educational videos and a blog to educate the participants and keep them updated. Volunteers will be asked to complete surveys to evaluate the level of air potato infestation and the presence of the air potato beetles in their test plots. For more information please visit the website or contact William Lester, UF/IFAS Extension, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOMETHING BUGGING YOUR TREES? - CHECK OUT THE NEW DIAGNOSTICS FORUM
Hosted by a group of forest and tree health specialists with Southeastern universities and agencies, we are here to help identify pests and diseases in your forest or you backyard, and to recommend a solution, if appropriate. Join the group and report your tree health issue!
Visit the new Forest Health Diagnostic forum on Facebook:
ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:
FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
GOT AN INVASIVE SPECIES PROBLEM?
Go to floridainvasives.org for information, assistance and partnership opportunities.
LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON A PARTICULAR TOPIC?
Check the vast array of extension publications available through UF/IFAS on the EDIS publication site: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ Wow, there’s a publication about that?
FWC REQUESTS REPORTS OF WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS:
- Report chipmunk sightings here: https://public.myfwc.com/hsc/chipmunk/getlatlong.aspx
- Report panther sightings here: https://public.myfwc.com/hsc/PantherSightings/getlatlong.aspx
- Report mink sightings here: https://public.myfwc.com/hsc/mink/getlatlong.aspx
- Report black bear sightings here: https://public.myfwc.com/fwri/blackbear/getlatlong.aspx
- Report southern hognose snake (Heterodon simus), short-tailed snake (Lampropeltis extenuata), and Florida pine snake (Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus) here:
UF/IFAS SCHOOL OF FOREST RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION EXTENSION PROGRAMS
FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES WEBINARS
For a calendar of upcoming webinars in a variety of land management topics see:
SOUTHERN REGION EXTENSION FORESTRY
See http://sref.info/ for the latest news, tools and offer